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Conditional sentences 2014
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Conditional sentences 2014

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  • 2. Conditional sentences consist of two clauses: a conditional clause (or “IF” clause) and the main clause (or “RESULT” clause) which is dependent on the conditional.
  • 3. There four basic conditional sentence patterns where our choice of tense depends on: 1.- the time of the condition (present, future or past). 2.- how possible or impossible we think it is. Zero conditional Possible at any time, but most commonly in the present. If your car is old, it probably needs a road test. First conditional Possible in the future. If we don’t water these plants, they’ll die. Second conditional Impossible in the present. If my eye sight was perfect, I wouldn’t need glasses. Possible (but unlikely) in the future. If I were rich, we’d buy a house in NY. Third conditional Impossible in the past. If you had answered the door, she wouldn’t have gone away again.
  • 4. ZERO CONDITIONAL Used for facts that are always true. Actions that always have the same result: • If you study a lot, you always pass your exams. • If you can read this, you’re driving too close to me! You can replace IF with WHEN if we are referring to a regular activity: • When I eat dairy products, I get red spots on my skin. We can use modal verbs (especially “can” and “may”), present simple, perfect or continuous in both clauses. We can find a similar pattern to refer to the past: When they went to the movies, they always sat at the back.
  • 5. TYPE I:LIKELY OR REAL • If + present (simple, continuous or perfect), WILL/ SHALL or BE going to. (Also future continuous or perfect) – If you come to the party, you’ll enjoy yourself. – If the concert is on Friday, I’m going to buy the tickets at once. – If you arrive before 10:00, we’ll be playing in the park. – If you continue wasting your money, you’ll have gone bankrupt in three years. • If + present (simple, continuous, perfect), imperative – If you come to the party, bring some wine. – If you have finished, come to the party. – If you are expecting someone, tell him to join us. • If + present (simple, continuous, perfect), modal – If you come to the party, you must bring a bottle of wine. – If you have finished, you can come with us – If you are expecting someone, I can leave.
  • 6. Other Patterns • Requests: if + future, future – If you’ll just wait a minute, I’ll call the manager to help you. • If + should/ If + happen to (less likely but possible) – If you should see James, tell him to phone me. – If you happen to see James, tell him to phone me.
  • 7. OTHER CONJUNCTIONS • Unless= if...not. Often used in warnings. – We’ll be late for our English lesson unless we hurry. • As long as (or so long as)= if, on condition that. – We’ll be on time for our lesson as long as you hurry up. • Provided (that)/providing (that)= if, on condition that. – Providing (that) you lay the table, I’ll cook. – He will pass his exam, provided (that) he studies a lot. • In case (precaution) – Take an umbrella in case it rains.
  • 8. TYPE II: UNLIKELY/IMAGINARY • If + past (simple or continuous), would/could/ might/ should + infinitive – If you were driving from Cartagena to Cuenca, what way would you go? (You are not driving) – If I went to London, I could/ might improve my English (unlikely that you’ll go but possible). • If I were rich, I would travel around the world. • If she was/were rich, she wouldn’t work. • Were you really ill, I would call the doctor (formal). To emphasise the condition is unlikely to happen: • If the printer should break down within the first year, we would repair it. • If you were to listen more carefully, you might understand me! IF IT WEREN’T FOR … • If it weren’t for his wife’s money, he’d never be a manager. • If it weren’t for the on-the-job training, I would quit.
  • 9. TYPE III: UNREAL/ IMAGINARY IN THE PAST Imaginary situations in the past. • Used to criticise, to point out mistakes or to express a regret. If + past perfect (simple or continuous), would/ could /might have + past participle (or “been” + -ing) – If I had gone to the party, I would have taken a bottle of wine. – If the taxi hadn’t come along, you would have been waiting there for hours. • Had I known the results, I would have phoned you. (formal) IF IT HADN’T BEEN FOR ... • If it hadn’t been for your help, I wouldn’t have got the hang of it so quickly. • If it hadn’t been for the reshuffle of the company, it might have gone bankrupt.